|sits down at the bar and waits for the bartender. As the bartender walks towards him he (the bartender) is struck by an indescribably foul stench. He asks the guy "I'm sorry but is that smell coming from you?"
To which the guy responds "Yeah, sorry about this but it takes a few days to get rid of the smell."
"What is that?" inquires the bartender.
"Well, i work out at the airport and i run the honey wagon." Replies the guy.
"What's a honey wagon?" asks the bartender.
"When an airliner lands I drive the honey wagon up to it, plug in a tube and empty the tanks from the lavs. Unfortunately the connections don't fit very well and some of the stuff always leaks out onto me. Sometimes the whole connection comes loose and then i get it all over me. The smell stays for days no matter how much I scrub."
"Wow, they must really pay you a lot to do that."
"Not really. I make ten bucks an hour."
"Oh. Why don't you go out and get a different job somewhere?"
The guy looks incredulously at the bartender and replies "What, and get out of aviation?"
Tell her to become a doctor or computer programmer or something.
Oh and about the ATC process. By now i am sure you know that you can be an IFR controller, a VFR controller, or a Flight Service Specialist. The exam is the same for all three you just check which jobs you are interested in. The exam is NOT identical to the practice ones on the web but fairly similar. Practice on similar exams (lots on the web and in book stores) train your memory to hear strings of numbers and letters and remember them, and memorize times tables and reciprocals as far as you can. The exam costs $200 bucks plus tax (Nav Canada is trying to attract the best and the brightest of course, not the people with enough skill and intelligence to get a good job without jumping through stupid hoops). If you do well on the exam you will be invited to an behavioral interview. The trick to these interviews is that the question goes "Tell me about a very stressful situation you were in" or something like that. You need to talk about something that actually happened to you and what you did. So think of these things ahead of time. Write down a bunch of situations that you remember from work. DON'T talk about "well my boyfriend left me and my cat died and it was really tough" (it's been tried with little success). You will also be asked to bring transcripts of all your schooling to the interview.
Now, once the interview is done you get assigned a number. The better you did, the higher the number. If they have ten FSS openings and you are number ten, you get offered a spot. This is where the gamble comes in. If you want to go IFR control but would not mind doing FSS if you have to, you need to be careful. A few years ago i met a gentleman who was just about to go off to IFR control school. Two days before they offered him IFR control they called and offered him FSS. After he demurred, then they offered him IFR control.
Also, if you accept FSS and hope to get on as ATC think again. Currently you have to wait FIVE years once you get on FSS before you will be allowed to write the exam again and try for ATC. And even if they take you you have to quit your job in order to do so. Which means that if you do not pass the course you will have no FSS job to go back to. Basically the company would infinitely rather train someone new then let you advance.
Oh, and quoting from the web page posted above "Pilots rely on the Flight Service Specialist's knowledge of terrain, aviation weather, preferred routes and communication coverage. This varied and challenging job demands good judgment, concentration and the ability to communicate effectively." is pure deceit. While the statement is true it leads one to believe that this is a job description of a Flight Service Specialist. Sure, there is a possibility of getting that varied and challenging job, you are far more likely to end up in a FIC giving weather briefs over and over again on the phone, and not talking to an airplane unless they - you got it - need some weather. Placement is a seniority bid process and there are lots of FSSs up north for you to get sent to (but at least then you will get that varied and challenging job, trying to get your car to start at minus forty).
Lastly, no matter which route you go you still are looking at putting up dough for the tuition in a program which is designed to weed out the candidates rather than teach the material.
And of course having said all the above, I have to admit that the bulk of the FSS specialists I talk to seem to be very happy in thier work. It is the VFR controllers who always seem put upon when they have to go to work.